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South Brunswick, N.J.’s Internet auction of $34 million in education construction bonds on April 1 was the first online public financing for a New Jersey school district, but there was no pioneering spirit in selection of bond counsel. The district picked Newark’s 23-lawyer McManimon & Scotland, the firm New Jersey public issuers choose most often. In 2003, it placed first in three quantitative categories in which municipal bond counsel are ranked: total issues, market share and total par value. It was the firm’s second straight year at the top. McManimon & Scotland shepherded 137 issues to market in 2003, compared with 51 by second-ranked Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer of Woodbridge. The par amount of McManimon & Scotland’s issues totaled $2.3 billion — 14 percent of the market — compared with $2.1 billion and 12.4 percent of the market held by West Orange’s Wolff & Samson. And the rankings, provided at the Law Journal‘s request by Thomson Financial, an affiliate of The Bond Buyer, show McManimon & Scotland not only repeating its 2002 top-place showing but widening its lead. The firm was counsel on 53 more issues than Wilentz, Goldman in 2001, 68 more in 2002 and 86 last year. See related chart for a full comparison. Partner Edward McManimon III says of his competitors, “there are a lot of them in aggregate and they do well. We just do our thing.” The rankings also show:

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